RETURNSaša (František Alexander) Machov

Saša (František Alexander) Machov

Dancer, Choreographer, Director
He was born in Zhoř, Chech Republic in 1903. He graduated from the Jelizavety Nikolské Ballet of the Prague National Theater. He was a major figure in the history of Czech dance. In 1927, his modernist inclinations led him to the Dada-inspired, leftist Osvobozené divadlo (Prague Free Theater) of Jiří Voskovec and Jan Werich, where he worked as an actor and a dancer (1929), and later as a choreographer (1936-38). As the director of the Ostrava National Theater Ballet, he choreographed 27 operas and 49 operettas (1929-34). He also worked with E. F. Burian’s Theater (1934-36). He came in contact with Kostis Bastias, then Director of the Royal (National) Theater of Greece, probably through Manolis Kalomiris. On the eve of the German invasion in the Czech territory, he migrated to Greece and was immediately hired by Bastias in the newly founded Greek National Opera (1939). Aided by dancer Loukia Sakellariou-Kotsopouloy, he created a notable dance ensemble, he founded a dance school, and he choreographed two productions: The Bat (Die Fledermaus) and Boccaccio. After the German invasion of Greece, he joined the Czech troops that fought on the side of the Allies and participated in the operations in North Africa (1941), where he fell ill with malaria. He was taken to London, where he was cured and worked as a choreographer at the Sadler’s Wells Ballet School and in films (1943-45). After the war, he returned to his home country. He worked as a choreographer and a director at the Brno National Theater (1945-46) and afterwards as the Director of the Prague National Theater Ballet (1948-51). He enhanced the level of the productions; he worked with famous Czech scenic designers; he choreographed, directed and taught. Being a member of the pro-Western Resistance, he was persecuted on political grounds, and he committed suicide on 23 June 1951.